De Kock Mare Can Emulate El Picha

Sparkling Water looks a deserving favourite

The Betway Gr1 Summer Cup racemeeting preview chat show with guests Mike de Kock, Gavin Lerena, Gabriel Soma, and Betway’s Jonathan Blumberg will be broadcast this evening at 19h30 on Dstv Channel 240.

With some rain having fallen, and further showers forecast, it is all systems go for the ten-race programme on Saturday.

“There was about 2mm overnight, and scattered rain fell today. The course is in superb condition and the meeting goes ahead,” 4Racing spokesman Jermaine Craig told the Sporting Post late on Friday afternoon.

El Picha wins the 1999 Summer Cup

While we will hear it from the expert’s mouths this evening, it is 23 years since a horse managed to register the Betway Summer Cup-Hollywoodbets Durban July double and Sparkling Water will be aiming to do just that at Turffontein on Saturday.

The gallant late El Picha was the last horse to land the Summer Cup-July double back in 1999, and the talented Silvano mare Sparkling Water looks well placed to walk in the golden hoofprints.

Nineteen runners will line up at the 2000m marker at around 15h35 for the ‘People’s Race’, and with nine runners between them, and 14 victories in the Highveld showpiece, Mike de Kock and Sean Tarry clearly hold the aces.

Sean Tarry (credit: hamishNIVENPhotography)

Sean Tarry – he is the form trainer! (Pic- hamishNIVENPhotography)

With the Pick 6 pool projected at R10 million, there will be some players bemoaning the absence of couplings in what looks a very tough leg of the popular exotic.

De Kock will be looking for his 10th Summer Cup winner and Tarry his sixth after the multiple SA champion saddled four of the last five renewals.

Mike De Kock – looking for ten!

De Kock trains the top three runners in the betting in Sparkling Water, Safe Passage and Aragosta.

Of the other trainers Joe Soma, who saddles Gr1 SA Classic winner Red Saxon in the race, won the Summer Cup with Wagner in 2012.

Besides Rachel Venniker’s history bid on Shango as the first rider of the fairer sex to participate, and the evergreen Piere Strydom, who rode his 5500th career winner at the Vaal on Thursday and has three Cup winners to his credit this century, other jockeys with summer credentials include:

  • 2021 winner Calvin Habib, who rides Pyromianiac
  • 2017 winner Raymond Danielson, who partners Raiseahallelujah
  • 2011/2015/2016 winner Gavin Lerena, who takes the reins on Second Base
  • 2012 winner Smanga Khumalo, who rides favourite Sparkling Water
  • 2010 star Randall Simons, who partners MK’s Pride

There is a projected Pick 6 pool of R10 million – first leg off at 13h20 – and a quartet maxipool estimated at R2 million for the feature race quartet.

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